Sean G. Massey, Sarah R. Young, & Ann Merriwether
In the 50 years since the Stonewall Rebellion provided a symbolic turning point in the critical and community consciousness of LGBTQ people, a great many things have changed: a number of states have passed anti-discrimination and hate crimes legislation, openly LGBTQ people have been elected to public office, and marriage equality has become law in the United States and in many countries around the world. Representations of LGBTQ people have expanded due to community organizing, including activism in response to the AIDS epidemic, increasing popular interest in LGBTQ lives, the proliferation and wide-spread use of the Internet and social media, and the emergence of an LGBTQ consumer market. National rights organizations focused on LGBTQ lives have become more visible and have piqued the interest of social scientists and educators.
However, these years have also witnessed the perniciousness of anti-LGBTQ prejudice, discrimination, and violence. According to findings from “Discrimination in America: A national study of the experiences and views of LGBTQ Americans” (Chan, 2017), the majority of LGBTQ people have at some point been the target of homophobic slurs and negative comments about their sexuality and gender identity, and most have been threatened, harassed, or experienced violence at some point because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This chapter will provide (1) an overview of the prevalence and trends of anti-LGBTQ prejudice in the U.S.; (2) describe what is known about its nature, origins, and consequences; (3) provide an historical overview of the various attempts to define and measure it; (4), review the variables that have been found to increase or reduce its impact on the lives of LGBTQ people; and (5) discussed the resistance and resilience shown by the LGBTQ community in response to anti-LGBTQ prejudice and discrimination.